For me, one of the bright spots of my experience with What's the Story has been the work produced by the students I mentor. All three of them are passionate about their topic—education reform in Vermont—and their passion is evident in the blog entries they've published and in the enthusiasm with which they've pursued their research. I'm wondering what form that research will take as they begin the process of editing their footage next weekend, and what challenges will arise along the way.
Looking ahead to our upcoming stay at the Common Ground Center, I'm interested in and curious about the presentations to be given the first day. I'd like to learn more about Fern Creek and the folks associated with it before I arrive for the overnight. I'm also curious about the documentary exemplars we'll be viewing; I for one could stand to learn something about the genre. Finally, I'm excited to see how our crew of talented students takes to video editing. I'm not sure who among them has know-how in this area, but regardless, it should be interesting to watch them go to work on constructing their films.
To those considering joining the awesome team of adults who run What's the Story, be prepared for an engaging, challenging, dynamic experience. It feels refreshing to be part of an endeavor that empowers students to take charge of their own learning, and seeing them in action is inspiring. As part of the team, be willing to take the initiative; don't wait for someone to hand you a job. Though much of our communication throughout the year is digital—expect to check and reply to email often—technology enables more frequent collaboration among students and adults. When we do meet in person, we accomplish a great deal. In the company of these talented students and educators, I often find myself wishing that public education could be more like What's the Story on a day-to-day basis. I've heard numerous students echo this thought, as well. Learning is simply more effective when students are motivated by self-discovery.